McKendrick, Haladjian, & Pylyshyn (2008). Tracking illusory objects. Poster presented at the 16th Annual Object Perception, Attention, and Memory (OPAM) Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Chicago, IL (11/08).
In Multiple Object Tracking (MOT), task-relevant objects (targets) are ordinarily well-defined shapes. We tested whether an illusory figure can act as a trackable object within MOT by testing for inhibition of nontargets with a probe-dot detection task. Both tracking and probe-dot detection results in this experiments support our hypothesis: figures with illusory contours are treated the same as figures with drawn contours by mechanisms in early vision. Probe-dot detection on nontargets was significantly worse than targets for trials with illusory contours and drawn contours, suggesting inhibition. No target-nontarget differences were observed in trials with the anti-illusory control.